London: India is fast emerging as a major hub of cybercrime as recession is driving computer-literate criminals to electronic scams, claimed a study by researchers at the University of Brighton.
Titled ‘Crime Online: Cybercrime and Illegal Innovation’, the study states that cybercrime in India, China, Russia and Brazil is a cause of “particular concern” and that there has been a “leap in cybercrime” in India in recent years, partly fuelled by the large number of call centres.
Growing danger: Reported cases of spam, hacking and fraud have multiplied 50-fold from 2004 to 2007, the study claims. John Zich / Bloomberg
“Russia, China and Brazil are world leaders in cybercrime, with groups and individuals in India powering up to compete. Yet companies in Europe and the US are increasingly moving IT functions and software development tasks to India, Brazil, Russia and Eastern Europe in a bid to draw on their good IT skills and lower wages”, says Prof. Howard Rush who lead the study.
Although cybercriminal activity remained low in India compared with other emerging economies, the report says that “there has been a leap in cybercrime in recent years”. Reported cases of cases of spam, hacking and fraud have multiplied 50-fold from 2004 to 2007, it claims.
“One recent report ranked India in 2008 as the fourteenth country in the world hosting phishing websites. Additionally, the booming of call centres in India has generated a niche for cybercriminal activity in harvesting data”, the report maintained. The report also says that cybercrime is a global industry but the combination of poor economic opportunities and high skills is driving many developing regions to surface as major players in cybercrime.